News in Brief 08 December 2017 (PM)

8 December 2017

Countries have pledged $383 million dollars to support a UN fund that provides timely humanitarian aid during crises.

The commitments by 36 donors were the outcome of the latest annual pledging conference for the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), which was held in New York on Friday.

CERF also reached a record high income of $504 million for this year thanks to additional commitments made by donors.

Here’s UN Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking at the opening ceremony.

"CERF not only works quickly; it is designed to ensure that humanitarian aid gets to the most urgent cases first, including women and girls who are disproportionately affected by crisis. It supports strong coordination between humanitarian agencies and NGOs. And it acts as a catalyst to mobilize resources from elsewhere."

The UN chief also announced a CERF allocation of $100 million to meet critical needs in nine underfunded emergencies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mali, the Philippines, Eritrea, Haiti and Pakistan.

WHO scaling up efforts to help Yemen children

With nearly half a million starving children in Yemen, efforts are being stepped up to fight severe acute malnutrition in the war-torn country, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced.

The conflict which began two years ago means many people have lost their jobs and are thus finding it difficult to feed their children, resulting in an estimated 7 million people at risk of starvation.

This figure includes 1.8 million malnourished children, while some 400,000 youngsters are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

WHO has been establishing, equipping and rehabilitating therapeutic feeding centres to treat severe acute malnutrition, which is defined by very low weight for height, as well as muscle wasting.

The UN agency also has distributed 120 lifesaving nutritional kits to the centres which can treat up to 6,000 cases of the condition.

African countries urged to take action on birth registrations

If decisive action is not taken, the number of children across sub-Saharan Africa whose births have not been registered could rise to 115 million by 2030; up from 95 million today.

That’s according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which is calling on African countries to prioritize birth registration as a first and critical step in national vital statistics systems.

UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Pakkala, warned that with no proof of identity, age or nationality, unregistered children are vulnerable to violations such as child marriage, child labour and recruitment into armed forces.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’53”


♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.